We’re all short on time, which means you probably ignore most of the brand messages you’re bombarded with throughout the day. Yet, no doubt you can recite a number of short lines or jingles for brands you’ve never even purchased from. What makes those messages stick while others get lost by the wayside?

A well-crafted brand tagline. A strong tagline can become an iconic message, sometimes even seeping into pop culture.

But what does it take to create a memorable line? One that can push past the noise? Bring relevance and recall to your brand?

A good tagline helps communicate more than a brand’s name or logo alone by emphasizing the brand’s offerings, position or promise. If executed correctly, taglines can be powerful for brand recall. But, if they aren’t approached strategically, they can also waste precious resources and customer mindshare by diluting attention away from a necessary message. How do you avoid the latter? Before you develop your tagline, you must be clear and confident in what you want to communicate.

Not sure where to start? Our brand strategy team is the perfect place. Before we jump into creating a tagline, we’ll ensure your brand has a well-thought-out strategic plan. We’ll explore a plethora of strategic-focused questions: What are your business goals? Are they aligned with your brand purpose? Do you know how your brand is perceived today and the difference between that and how you want to be perceived?

With these answers in mind, we’ll create a tagline and develop a strategic launch plan, all aligned with your brand’s strategic goals.

Finding the right tagline

Once we have aligned on your brand’s strategic plan, we can narrow in on the style of tagline that best fits your brand’s strategy. With a number of styles, which can sometimes overlap, we’ll work with you to find the best fit for your brand:

Frame of reference tagline: Descriptively communicates what your brand provides.

This type of taglines works if you’re a new brand and need to provide description or define your area of business. Additionally, if you’re working to define or redefine a category, it can be very bold.

BMW: The ultimate driving machine.

Purpose tagline: Communicates why your brand exists in the world.

This approach can work well for mission-driven companies who want to differentiate based on their reason for being.

GE: Building a world that works

Benefits tagline: States a core brand benefit.

To make this tagline work, the benefit provided must be compelling, authentic and distinct.

Miller Lite: Tastes great, less filling.

Positioning tagline: Best fit for when a brand needs to establish its relative position among the competition.

This type of tagline doesn’t have to explicitly state that your brand is at the top, rather it’s often used by brands to remind their audience that they are industry leaders.

Avis: We try harder.

Character tagline: When a tagline expresses something about the brand’s character or personality.

This approach is typically utilized by more established brands to echo the connections or aspirations they share with their audiences.

Nike: Just Do It.

Or a challenger brand working to establish how the experience with their brand is different.

Kay: Every Kiss Begins with Kay.

Bringing your tagline to life

Once we have defined the strategic approach(es) that will advance your brand towards its objectives, we’ll start tagline development. To create a tagline that sticks, it’s imperative to do the hard work up front. Asking an extensive list of high-level questions can help cut through the noise:

What does your target audience need to hear from you? Remember, it’s not all about you. The best taglines say something that is compelling to your audience.

What is the right way for your brand to say it? Your communication should be authentic so your audience is not confused. As a new brand, this sets the stage for future engagement.

What will make the tagline most impactful? You want something that is truly distinct for your brand and that can have longevity.

But the process doesn’t stop there.

Preparing your tagline for launch

From the role your tagline is designed to play, in various communications to graphic treatments, we’ll help you develop strategic best practices to ensure tagline consistency across all use cases. To make sure your tagline is ready for launch, Addison Whitney will deploy our strategic and creative resources in all stages of tagline creation, including the steps that get the creative over the finish line:

  • Tactics like alliteration, lyrical tone or rhymes can be applied by Addison Whitney’s verbal linguists.
  • An understanding of the meaning in various markets or language dialects where the tagline may appear can be evaluated through linguistical screening.
  • Customer research can validate if your message is coming across and its success in recall. You must be able to say what you need to say in the shortest, most memorable way.

By following our rigorous strategic and creative process, your resulting tagline will help tell the story you want to tell about your brand. Ready to determine your brand’s shortest story? Let’s talk.